I’m always puzzled by the fact that people who criticize capitalism make two assumptions. Firstly that it’s not necessary to know anything about capitalism (after all, reading The Wealth of Nations would take time) and secondly that it’s fine to conflate the concept of capitalism with the highly distorted version that exists in the USA because of its unique pay-to-play system in which every politician must raise millions of dollars and then repay that money with political favors.

Once we stop making these two assumptions and actually learn about capitalism, it’s clear that all proposed solutions fall dramatically short. So instead of pretending all the evils of the world are something to do with a system of economics we can’t be bothered to study properly, we ought to be looking at ways to rectify the many failings of the US political system which makes crony capitalism with all its many injustices and ills so eminently possible. Otherwise, no matter what marvelous imaginary system we conjure up, the same problems will arise again because the fundamental drivers (the need for election campaign funds) will remain the same and thus the same old distortions will reoccur after a very short interval.

Remember, Europe has had nearly 80 years of experimenting with various versions of socialism and has discovered that for the most part relying on people to be reasonable and equitable doesn’t work. European societies are far more humane and equitable than anything in the USA but a lot of your proposals have been tried and have abjectly failed. So it may be worth your while to look at what has worked, rather than merely hypothesizing about what you’d like to work in some idealized version of the world.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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